The Rockies have fallen so far out of contention that, even with the impending returns of several key players, it's tough to imagine a scenario in which they make a play for a Wild Card berth come September. That's why, as painful as it might be, the team should opt to establish itself as a seller at the trade deadline.
Colorado seemingly never has a real plan at the deadline. That can be both a good and a bad thing; if a team goes on a buying spree, it can risk mortgaging its future by overpaying for immediate help. However, failure to sell high on assets -- especially when chances of a postseason berth are minimal -- can similarly handicap a team both financially and talent-wise.
The Rockies have several options if they decide to make the right decision this month. The first of which is Brandon Barnes, a fifth outfielder who has likely improved his market value by playing well-above-average defense and coming up with clutch hits.
Barnes has not lit the world on fire during his short tenure with the Rockies, entering Monday hitting just .254/.300/.391. However, the 28-year-old California native has excelled in pinch-hit situations, boasting a .303/.343/.545 line in 38 plate appearances. He also hits righties well as evidenced by his .480 slugging percentage. Those strengths could make Barnes a coveted bench option for contending NL teams such as the Brewers and Braves who are lacking in that area.
Of course, Barnes has one giant red flag, and it's one that would almost certainly scare away less desperate teams. He has -- SURPRISE! -- hit very well at Coors Field, but Barnes has been awful on the road, posting a .189/.232/.289 line. Like most Rockies players, he falls somewhere in between his tremendous home production and disappointing road line, but it's certainly not out of the question to be wary about a guy who is a career .239/.286/.345 hitter.
Barnes makes the league minimum and isn't even eligible for arbitration until after the 2016 season, so the Rockies definitely don't need to move him. However, if the team makes some calls about him and finds a suitor in desperate need of a bench bat, it's not out of the realm of possibility for the team to get some real value in return if Dan O'Dowd and Bill Geivett play their cards right.